My one question for Doug Wilson

The Christian blogosphere has been on fire after a recent blog post by Jared Wilson critiquing the rape porn of 50 Shades of Grey from a Calvinist complementarian perspective. Jared Wilson quotes several paragraphs from a book by Doug Wilson (no relation) that seem to suggest that rape happens because humanity has rebelled against the hierarchical order of male dominance and female submission that God wove into the fabric of nature, which is the boldest claim I have ever heard a complemetarian make aloud.

Here are the paragraphs from Wilson’s book exactly as they were reproduced:

A final aspect of rape that should be briefly mentioned is perhaps closer to home. Because we have forgotten the biblical concepts of true authority and submission, or more accurately, have rebelled against them, we have created a climate in which caricatures of authority and submission intrude upon our lives with violence.

When we quarrel with the way the world is, we find that the world has ways of getting back at us. In other words, however we try, the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party. A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts. This is of course offensive to all egalitarians, and so our culture has rebelled against the concept of authority and submission in marriage. This means that we have sought to suppress the concepts of authority and submission as they relate to the marriage bed.

But we cannot make gravity disappear just because we dislike it, and in the same way we find that our banished authority and submission comes back to us in pathological forms. This is what lies behind sexual “bondage and submission games,” along with very common rape fantasies. Men dream of being rapists, and women find themselves wistfully reading novels in which someone ravishes the “soon to be made willing” heroine. Those who deny they have any need for water at all will soon find themselves lusting after polluted water, but water nonetheless.

True authority and true submission are therefore an erotic necessity. When authority is honored according to the word of God it serves and protects — and gives enormous pleasure. When it is denied, the result is not “no authority,” but an authority which devours.

I could say a lot about this, but I don’t have the energy to muster more than a single question. If, as Wilson writes, it is the nature of a man to “penetrate, conquer, colonize, plant” and it is the nature of a woman to “receive, surrender, accept,” then was Jesus being a woman on the cross?

  • http://gravatar.com/chaseandre Chase

    Dismantling. This gets at the heart of The Gospel (and the heart that should be characterized by any and all Jesus followers). It so easily shows how far removed Mr. Wilson’s post on TGC is from The Gospel. Thanks, Morgan.

    • Morgan Guyton

      Absolutely!

  • Kene

    …brilliant question…the real Jesus represents something so different from the our intuition, culture and natural make-up…grace and mercy are not natural human attributes…whenever someone uses nature to make an argument about morality, they completely miss the point in Christianity…

    …on the issue of complementarity vs egalitarianism, I came across this article by Rachel Held Evans which really struck me, because I hadn’t really looked at the original texts on the issue before. Genesis 2 vs 18 which is the verse that defines roles in marriage seems to have been misunderstood…

    …”help meet” is not “help-mate”…it DOES NOT connote submission…

    It is not good for the man to be alone.
    I will make a helper suitable for him.”
    – Genesis 2:18

    “The phrase “helper suitable,” rendered “help meet” in the King James Version, comes from a combination of the words ezer and kenegdo. Far from connoting subjugation, the Hebrew term ezer, or “helper,” is employed elsewhere in Scripture to describe God, the consummate intervener—the helper of the fatherless (Psalm 10:14), King David’s helper and deliverer (Psalm 70:5), Israel’s shield and helper (Deuteronomy 33:29). Ezer appears twenty-one times in the Old Testament—twice in reference to the first woman, three times in reference to nations to whom Israel appealed for military support, and sixteen times in reference to God as the helper of Israel. The word evokes both benevolence and strength, and is a popular name for Jewish boys, both in the Bible and in modern times.”

    http://rachelheldevans.com/mutuality-adam-eve

    Submission is an issue that arose after the fall. We ought to aspire for something higher that that…we ought to aspire for what was there in the beginning…I think that is the point the egalitarians are trying to make and it is very valid.

    …the more I look at this idea from Emile Durkheim (from a Tony Campolo sermon), the more I see it played out by various religious “types”…the making of “God” in our image…

    “…people worship a deity that is nothing more than a symbolic representation of their own traits and values…”

    • Morgan Guyton

      Thanks for your thoughts here. Good stufF!

    • Charles Stern

      More importantly, the word “knegdo” means “opposite him.” So ‘ezer knegdo’ implies opposition

      • Morgan Guyton

        That’s interesting.

  • Lane

    Amen, Morgan, and touche. What I’d like to ask Doug Wilson is — are you married, and if you are, what does your wife say about what you wrote? What a cave man.

    • Morgan Guyton

      Right. How do men like that stay married?

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  • http://wjcsydney.wordpress.com Wendy

    The first rape recorded in the Bible is Dinah, is it not? I don’t see any cultural rebellion against the concept of authority and submission in marriage in that account. Nor do I see it in the threatened rape of Lot’s angelic visitors by the marauding mob of Sodom.

    • Morgan Guyton

      Exactly!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kurtboemler Kurt

    I thought the first rape was Lot by his daughters.